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Research and Scholarship

A guide for capstone and thesis students

 

Your capstone project or thesis is not a term paper.  Instead, it reflects your ability to build on all you have learned in your studies and to provide an analysis or solution based on evidence.  Your project should fill a gap or a need in the existing literature and not just tell the same story yet once again.

Whether you are writing a traditional five-chapter thesis or another type of project report, you will still need to provide an Introduction that:

  • Discusses the overarching issues (purpose / problem statement)
  • Provides background or historical development
  • Summarizes research trends
  • Defines terms
  • Ties in relevant theories
  • Sets parameters (what you will and won’t discuss)
  • Includes the thesis statement 

For some, this is the last piece of the paper written even though it is the first step in thinking about the research process.  Keep good notes on each aspect of the introduction so that it will be easy to compose.